Tips For Meeting The Parents At ChristmasWritten by Gareth Healey in Life on November 24th, 2015
The clocks have gone back and the dark nights are rolling in. It’s around now that the girl you’ve been seeing all summer is about to enter ‘winter boyfriend mode’ (yeah, that’s an actual thing).
Before you know it, you’ve swapped Saturday nights with the lads for cosy nights in with the missus. You’re getting content with your new way of life, but there’s one thing that’s still bound to send waves of panic running through your body.
You’ve got to meet her parents.
For most of us, there’s nothing scarier. It’s a nerve wracking experience; the pressure to please and make a great first impression can lead to some excruciating moments.
But do not fear, Jacamo is here! We’ve got some great pieces of advice on what to do (and what NOT to do) when meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time this Christmas.
Fix up, look sharp
Dress to impress. Its cliché, but it’s true. From the moment you walk through the door, her parents will be sizing you up and making assumptions about you, so make sure you look the part. Even if you’re only popping round for some dinner, look presentable and well put together. You can’t go wrong with jeans and a casual shirt. But if they’ve invited you to a black tie dinner, charity ball or a wedding reception, check out our dress codes video to make sure you suit the occasion.
So you’ve arrived at her parents’ house and let’s be honest, you’re absolutely bricking it. But don’t worry. Stay cool!
On arrival, make sure you compliment something: their house, mum’s necklace or dad’s golf trophies. Whatever you see, compliment it. Remember, this is a quick visit and you have to make sure you leave with the seal of approval from them.
So you’re in the house, being introduced to what feels like the largest family on Earth. Your new girlfriend is rattling off the names of everyone in the house and you know full well you haven’t got a chance of remembering any of them. Apart from maybe the weirdly named dog or her ‘friendly’ cousin.
Pets and cousins aside, there’s one person you know you have to impress – Dad. The scariest family member of them all.
The best advice? Keep cool and don’t act nervous. Give him a firm, but not threatening handshake. If he intimidates you, insults you, or is constantly taking the mick, just smile and bite your tongue. When you’re responding to his ‘banter’, look him in the eye and speak clearly and confidently. You’ll never earn his manly respect if you’re sweating buckets and staring at your shoes.
Ask questions about their lives, and try your hardest to look like you’re interested. Even if you have no interest in their response, go along with it. This conversation is all about them. Badminton? Love it. New York? Never been, always wanted to. Politics? How INTERESTING!
Remember, attack is the best form of defence. If you’re asking all the questions, it won’t give her parents the chance to grill you quite as intensely.
Avoid Sticky Subjects
This is a no-brainer, but we’re morally obliged to say it. Don’t be goaded into conversations about your intentions with their daughter, your drinking habits or your last lads’ holiday to Ibiza. Avoid these conversations at all costs.
And whatever you do, don’t mention ex-girlfriends. They’d much prefer to carry on thinking that their little princess is the only woman you’ve ever set eyes on.
Keep your caveman instincts locked away. It’s quite impolite to start tucking into that juicy turkey before everyone else is seated. And even if you’re starving at the end, don’t help yourself to additional portions without being asked. Should the worst happen and the food hasn’t a patch on your mum’s, don’t complain. Just chew it and swallow. It will all be over soon and there’s bound to be a burger place open on your way home.
Never be overly possessive with your partner around her parents. Being clingy and kissing them at the table is NOT cute. PDA’s are weird and painful for everyone watching.
Of course it’s only natural to want a beer or two to settle the nerves, but if you end up drunk it won’t end well. The last thing you want to do is start drunkenly telling your girlfriend’s family your life story and challenging her dad to a game of beer pong.
If you’re staying over then be prepared to sleep in separate rooms. You’re in their house, so you follow their rules. If you are given a sleeping bag and asked to sleep in the garden, you’re just going to have to grin and bear it.
Even if your better half wants you to sneak into her room for cuddles – resist the temptation! You’ve made it this far, don’t mess it up now. Just go to sleep knowing you’ve won the battle. You’ve won her parents over.
We commend you.